This is a weeknight recipe that is too good NOT to write about. Earlier in the week I bought a huge tub of strawberries at Trader Joe’s, and I wanted to make sure we ate every single one before any mold started to grow! I HATE when produce, and especially expensive produce, goes bad before my eyes! In addition to eating the strawberries on their own and in a few smoothies, I threw together this healthy, bright, and delicious salad one night after work. The most difficult part was remembering to marinate the chicken strips in balsamic about an hour before I cooked them.
1 bag organic baby spinach
2 cups chopped strawberries
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, reduced until syrupy
organic chicken tenders (I cooked 6, 2 for me and 4 for my husband)
While I plated the spinach, strawberries, and goat cheese, I had a small pan full of the balsamic simmering until it reduced down to a sweet and syrupy dressing for the salad. Just keep an eye on it to make sure that it doesn’t reduce too far, or you will have a sticky, burnt pan!
I added a healthy grind of fresh black pepper to this salad as well. There is just something amazing about the combination of black pepper and strawberries. Mmm. . . a black pepper and strawberry sorbet would be a lovely summer treat!
We used our battered and beaten George Foreman grill, which I have had for 8 years, to grill the chicken indoors. It was a delicious topping for the salad with its slightly sweet, balsamic glaze. Once the salad was constructed, I drizzled a little of the reduced balsamic over everything. Reduced balsamic + goat cheese= heaven.
This salad paired well with, you guessed it, Travessia Rosé. You will be seeing a lot of this wine over the summer
The Eating from Home Challenge was pretty easy when it came to dinner, especially because of meals like this one. I did learn a few things from the challenge that I think will help me moving forward:
1) Having a desk filled with ample work snacks is key. I work in a building with several takeout restaurants and cafes, and when hunger strikes it is too easy to go buy something. During the challenge I did not allow myself to buy anything, and I ended up pretty hungry most afternoons!
2) Buying treats throughout the week, like an iced latte or a scone, is okay as long as it is within reason. On most normal weeks (not the post-marathon week!) I buy one latte a week and usually also buy lunch once a week. These little splurges help to break up the monotony of the work week and give me a little something to look forward to!
3) This challenge, and especially not being able to go out and buy what I wanted because I was restricting myself, reminded me how lucky I am and that many people really have to spend the afternoon or evening or all day hungry.
I am not huge on doing all sorts of challenges, but I think once in awhile it definitely is nice to check in with yourself to see where you can be doing better!
This week, I will be working on a few recipes to pair with some wines that I was sent last week. I am really excited about this and can’t wait to get shopping! Also up this week, a wine dinner at Ten Tables and a Bordeaux wine tasting.
AND my gym, Healthworks Fitness, is having an event called Shape Day on Saturday, May 8:
SHAPE Day is Saturday, May 8! For a $20 donation you can take a special BURN or Master Class – all money raised will be donated to the Healthworks Foundation, helping women and children in our communities! http://www.healthworksfitness.com/company/shapeday.php
I love the idea of the Healthworks Foundation. Many of us know how empowering fitness and health can be to women, and I support anything that helps women and girls to learn about empowering themselves! I actually thought a lot about that as I ran the Boston Marathon, high fiving little girls along the way. If you are in the area, definitely check out Shape Day!
What are your meal plans for the week? Anything new on the menu?